Category: Buying a Home

What Is Mortgage Insurance?

Like the video shows, mortgage insurance is a policy that protects lenders against some or most of the losses that result from defaults on home mortgages. Like home or auto insurance, mortgage insurance requires payment of a premium, is for protection against loss, and is used in the event of an emergency.

If a borrower can’t repay an insured mortgage loan as agreed, the lender may foreclose on the property and file a claim with the mortgage insurer for some or most of the total losses.

You generally need mortgage insurance only if you plan to make a down payment of less than 20% of the purchase price of the home. The FHA offers several loan programs that may meet your needs.

What Are Discount Points?

Discount points allow you to lower your interest rate. While this video simplifies things to help you remember, “points” are essentially prepaid interest with each point equaling 1% of the total loan amount.

Generally, for each point paid on a 30-year mortgage the interest rate is reduced by 1/8 (or.125) of a percentage point.

When shopping for loans, ask lenders for an interest rate with 0 points and then see how much the rate decreases with each point paid.

Discount points are smart if you plan to stay in a home for some time since they can lower the monthly loan payment.

Points are tax deductible when you purchase a home and you may be able to negotiate for the seller to pay for some of them.

What Factors Affect Mortgage Payments?

Well, as this story shows, the amount of the down payment the size of the mortgage loan, the interest rate the length of the repayment term and payment schedule will all affect the size of your mortgage payment.
In bullets:

  • Down payment
  • Loan size
  • Interest rate – fixed or adjustable
  • Repayment term – how long
  • Payment schedule – how often

All affect the size of your payment.

What Are The Advantages Of 15- And 30-Year Fixed-Rate Mortgages?

For both, as we show you in this video, compared with other options,  with fixed rates, housing costs won’t be affected by interest rate changes and inflation.

With A 30-Year Term: In the first 23 years of the loan more interest is paid off than principal meaning larger tax deductions. As inflation and costs of living increase mortgage payments become a smaller part of overall expenses.

With A 15-year Term: Loan is usually made at a lower interest rate. Equity is built faster because early payments pay more principal. And the loan is paid off earlier.

Compare payments, principal and interest totals to make a decision.

How Does The Interest Rate Factor In Securing A Mortgage Loan?

As you’ll see in the video, a lower interest rate allows you to borrow more money than a high rate with the some monthly payment.
Interest rates can fluctuate as you shop for a loan so ask lenders if they offer a rate “lock-in” which guarantees a specific interest rate for a certain period of time.

Remember that a lender must disclose the Annual Percentage Rate (APR) of a loan to you. The APR shows the cost of a mortgage loan by expressing it in terms of a yearly interest rate. It is generally higher than the mortgage interest rate because it also includes the cost of points, mortgage insurance and other fees included in the loan.

What Types Of Mortgage Loans Are Available?

This video tells you about the most common types: Fixed Rate, ARM, Balloon and 2-Step.

First, Fixed Rate Mortgages: Payments remain the same for the life of the loan generally 15 years or 30 years. Interest rates remain the same, so payments are predictable.

A second common type is an Adjustable Rate Mortgage, or ARM. ARM Payments increase or decrease on a regular schedule with changes in interest rates increases are typically subject to limits.

Third, Balloon Mortgage: These offers very low rates for an Initial period of time usually 5, 7, or 10 years when time has elapsed, the balance is due or refinanced though not automatically.

Finally, a Two-Step Mortgage- Interest rates adjusts only once and remains the same for the life of the loan.

Many other types are available, including government-insured mortgages and VA loans for veterans. Talk to lenders and real estate professionals to assess your situation.

Are There Special Mortgages For First-Time Homebuyers?

Yes. Like the video shows, lenders now offer several affordable mortgage options which can help first-time homebuyers overcome obstacles that made purchasing a home difficult in the past.

Lenders may now be able to help borrowers who don’t have a lot of money saved for the down payment and closing costs, have no or a poor credit history, have quite a bit of long-term debt, or who have experienced income irregularities.

What Does Ability To Repay Mean?

What are the “Ability to repay” rules about?

In a nutshell, as this video shows, new laws require lenders to make a good-faith assessment of a borrower’s capacity to pay back their loan over time.

It’s a longer-term view that goes beyond immediate income, debt and credit rating.

These new Federal laws- supervised by the CFPB – require lenders to ask more questions – about income, assets, employment, credit history, and monthly expenses – as they relate to the proposed loan.

For example, a lender offering a mortgage with a low initial rate must try to assess how a borrower will handle the later, higher rate as well.

If you’re applying to borrow ask whether the program you’re considering is a Qualified Mortgage

Ability-to-repay rules are built in to loans that meet Qualified Mortgage guidelines.

 

How Large A Down Payment Do I Need?

There are mortgage options now available that only require a down payment of 5% or less of the purchase price. You’ll see some pictures in this video to help you remember later – the larger the down payment, the less you have to borrow and the more equity you’ll have.

Mortgages with less than a 20% down payment generally require a mortgage insurance policy to secure the loan.

When considering the size of your down payment consider that you’ll also need money for closing costs moving expenses, and – possibly – repairs and decorating.